Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

USS Constitution Chronology

Compiled by USS Constitution Museum

March 27, 1794                            

The Naval Armament act authorizes the construction of six frigates (four 44 guns, two 36 guns)

1794–1797                                   

USS Constitution under construction at Edmund Hartt’s Shipyard, Boston

  • May 10, 1797, USS United States, 44, launched in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • September 7, 1797, USS Constellation, 36, launched in Baltimore, Maryland

  • October 21, 1797 USS Constitution, 44, launched in Boston, Massachusetts

  • August 15, 1799, USS Congress, 36, launched in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

  • December 2, 1799, USS Chesapeake, 44, launched in Gosport (now Norfolk), Virginia 

  • April 10, 1800, USS President, 44, launched in New York, New York

July 22, 1798                                

Sails from Boston to Caribbean on first cruise

1798–1801                                   

Quasi-War with France; West India Squadron flagship, 1799–1801

1801–1803                                   

In ordinary and repair, Boston(To say that a ship was “in ordinary” meant that it was temporarily out of commission in a dry dock or harbor. When ships were placed in ordinary, crews removed their masts, rigging, sails, and guns stored them ashore. Today, a ship in a similar state is said to be “mothballed.”)

1803–1805                                   

Barbary War, Mediterranean Squadron flagship

1805–1807                                   

Mediterranean Squadron flagship

1807–1809                                   

Repair in New York

1809–1810                                   

Flagship of the “northern division of ships for the protection of the American coast.”

June 1810–1811                           

Northern Squadron, Captain Isaac Hull in command

August 1811–February 1812       

Voyage to France, England, and Holland

1812–1815                                   

War of 1812          

  • August 19, 1812                   

    Defeats HMS Guerriere

  • December 29, 1812               

    Defeats HMS Java 

February 20, 1815                 

Defeats HMS Cyane and HMS Levant

1816–1821                                   

In ordinary and repair, Boston

1821–1824                                   

Mediterranean Squadron flagship

1824–1828                                   

Mediterranean Squadron

1828–1831                                   

In ordinary, Boston

1830                                             

Harvard professor and physician Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. writes “Old Ironsides” poem

1833–1834                                   

First ever dry docking of Constitution, Charlestown navy Yard (June 24, 1833 docked). Extensive hull and structural replacement work, including copper sheathing work.

March–June 1835                         

Voyage to France with Minister to France Edward Livingston

August 1835–July1838                

Mediterranean Squadron flagship

April 1839–November 1841        

Pacific Squadron flagship

November 1842–February 1843  

Home Squadron flagship

May 1844–September 1846         

Around the World Cruise—sailed 52,370.5 miles

1846–1848                                   

In ordinary and repair, Boston

October 1848–1851                     

Mediterranean Squadron

August 1, 1849                            

Pope Pius IX visits ship at Gaeta, Italy

1851–1853                                   

In ordinary and repair, New York

March 1853–June 1855                

African Squadron flagship  

  • November 3, 1853

          Captures slaver H.N. Gambril, Constitution’s last prize

June 1855–July 1857                   

In ordinary, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

July 1857–August 1860               

Refit and converted to school ship, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

August 1860–September 1871    

School ship, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, and Newport, RI (USS Constitution returned to Annapolis with the Naval Academy when the Civil War ended)

1871–1872                                   

In ordinary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1873–January 1877                      

Refit, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1877                                             

Training ship, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1878                                             

Transports U.S. exhibits to Paris Exposition

1879–1881                                   

Apprentice Training Squadron

1881–1882                                   

In ordinary, New York

1882–1897                                   

Receiving ship, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

September 1897                           

Returns to Boston for 100th birthday

1897–1906                                   

On exhibition, Boston

1906–1907                                   

Restoration

1907–1926                                   

On exhibition

1927–1931                                   

Restoration

1931–1934                                   

National Cruise (three-coast tour, 76 ports, over 4.6 million visitors), returns to Boston

1934–1972                                   

On exhibition in Boston    

  • August 24, 1940                   

    Named symbolic flagship of U.S. fleet

  • 1947              

    150th birthday

  • 1949–1954                

    Repair

 

July 3, 1954               

Boston designated as homeport by Congressional Act, Public Law 523

1973–1976                                   

Restoration

1976–1992                                   

On exhibition in Boston   

 

  • April 8, 1976             

    USS Constitution Museum opens in Navy Yard Bldg. 22

 

  • July 1976                   

           Leads Tall Ships parade, Queen Elizabeth II visits for national bicentennial

1992–1996                                   

Restoration

1997                                            

          •    July 21

               Sails for first time in 116 years

          •    October 21

               USS Constitution’s bicentennial 

1998                                            

          •    July 23–26

               USS Constitution Bicentennial Salute (International ships salute USS Constitution's extraordinary career.)

2007–2010                                   

Restoration to return ship closer to 1812 appearance

19 August 2012                           

USS Constitution sails on the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and Constitution’s victory over HMS Guerriere.

2015–2017                                   

Restoration

 

The USS Constitution Museum is located in the historic Charlestown Navy Yard, across from USS Constitution and on the Freedom Trail. The USS Constitution Museum is a nonprofit, educational institution whose mission is to serve as the memory and educational voice of USS Constitution, by collecting, preserving, and interpreting the stories of “Old Ironsides” and the people associated with her.

 

Published: Mon Dec 11 09:56:30 EST 2017